Demo Kitchen Recipe: Burgers and Tomato Jam
Nothing says summer grilling more than burgers! Keep the following three tips (repeated in the directions below) in mind to ensure that your burgers are top notch. (1) Do NOT salt beef patties until moments before they hit your preheated gas grill or white hot charcoal grill. Salt dissolves muscle proteins, turning what would have been moist and tender burgers into something fragile and dry. (2) Decide what temperature each beef patty will be and form it accordingly with the appropriate thickness (see step three below in the Instructions). Otherwise, a slow cooked, well-done, 3/4" patty will taste leathery and unappealing. (3) Keep a squeeze water bottle ready at hand to douse any flare ups.
Fix a classic beef burger below with the following: brioche bun, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and American/cheddar cheese. Or fix a beef patty with the following (we call it “The Pilot”): pretzel bun, sautéed brussel sprouts, red onions, smoked gouda, and mayonnaise. And we suggest dressing a turkey patty with the following: whole wheat bun, sliced brie, arugula, tomato jam (recipe below), and apricot preserves.
Enjoy the beef burgers with something equally bold such as Clark & Sheffield Zinfandel or even Liparita Napa Valley Cab if you really want to treat yourself without breaking the bank. When deciding upon the turkey burger, keep in mind the sweet, lip-smacking qualities of the tomato jam; seek out a more vibrant red like a Dona Paula Malbec or Angeline Pinot Noir Reserve.
- 1. Set your grill to a medium-high flame and preheat the grill for 10 minutes before you start. Brush the grill clean to help prevent sticking.
- 2. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients by hand until everything is evenly distributed.
- 3. For rare - medium burgers, divide the meat evenly into 4 balls and pat them flat into patties about ¾ of an inch thick. For turkey or well-done burgers, divide the meat into 8 patties. (Instead of cooking a thick burger for a long time to make it well-done, I recommend making smaller patties that can cook through faster and using 2 patties per burger.)
- 4. Season the burger patties with salt and pepper right before placing them on to the grill. (Adding salt in to the mix too early will draw out a lot of the moisture from the meat making the patty more fragile and likely drier in the end.)
- 5. Place the patties on the hottest part of the grill and cook until dark char lines appear on the burger. (Keep a squeeze bottle of water close by to quench any flare-ups that may happen during grilling). Flip the patty and again cook until marked, then transfer to a cooler spot of the grill until desired temperature is reached. (If you want a cheeseburger, put the cheese on the patties while they are finishing the cooking process for the best melt.)
- 6. Let the burger rest for a few minutes after removing it from the grill, this will give the meat a chance to re-absorb some of its moisture, giving you a juicier burger.
- 1. In a small sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté the tomatoes and garlic in a small amount of oil until the tomatoes start to break down.
- 2. Add the vinegar and scrape the pan to remove any stuck on tomato.
- 3. Stir in the sugar to dissolve it and continue to cook until the mixture starts to thicken.
- 4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.